• Calendar,  Celtic Myth

    Things I Dread About Samhain

    Because I have a Celtic studies website, every October my email is peppered with messages from two large groups: fundamentalist Christians of various persuasions, and Neo Pagans of various paths. Both sects are writing to inform, deny, assert or correct me regarding Halloween and the Celtic feast known as Samhain in Modern Irish (Samain in Medieval Irish). The amount of email (and comments) increases every year. And the articles posted all over the Web get a little more annoying in their diligent perpetration of myths. Several years ago I even wrote my own FAQ What Is Samain or Samhain to try to stem the tide, to no avail. Both groups…

  • Archaeology,  Celtic Art & Archaeology

    Newly Discovered Pictish Carved Stone

    Found near Dingwall, Scotland, as part of an excavation of an early Christian site in Easter Ross, the 1,200 year-old stone is not typical of other Pictish stones found in the area. The slab is probably a fragment from the massive slab forming the top section of a Pictish stone cross. John Borland, of Historic Environment Scotland and president of the Pictish Arts Society, said: “The two massive beasts that flank and surmount the cross are quite unlike anything found on any other Pictish stone. “These two unique creatures serve to remind us that Pictish sculptors had a remarkable capacity for creativity and individuality. Via the BBC (see links below…